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Governor’s Big Game sales raise $1.8M for conservation projects


GILLETTE, Wyo. — Nearly 80 projects will be funded this year with $1.8 million raised through 2023 sales of the Wyoming Governor’s complimentary big game licenses, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. 

The funding comes through the Wyoming Governor’s Big Game License Coalition, a multi-organizational effort to market and sell the licenses for five bighorn sheep, five moose and five wild bison as well as 10 each for deer, elk and antelope, Game and Fish says. A total of 78 projects will receive funding. 

The sale of these licenses funds various wildlife conservation projects through committees focusing on specific initiatives for elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, moose and all wildlife, per Game and Fish, which says projects are diverse and range from habitat improvements to facilitating wildlife movements across roadways. 

“The [Coalition] puts forth incredible effort to raise money that goes directly on-the-ground for conservation projects,” Gov. Mark Gordon said. “The Coalition is judicious and generous with their allocations to better the landscape for a variety of species. Thank you to hunters for investing in these licenses to support responsible stewardship of our state’s natural resources.”

Per Game and Fish, participating conservation organizations include the Mule Deer Foundation, Muley Fanatics Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Wyoming Wild Sheep Foundation, all of which keep 10% of the proceeds from the licenses they sell, with 90% going back to the coalition.

Tim Thomas, Sheridan Region wildlife management coordinator and coalition chair, said the coalition stands out for its ability to rally significant financial support and garner widespread participation from top-notch conservation groups across the state. 

“This collaborative funding model founded under Gov. Freudenthal and continued by Govs. Mead and Gordon deserves recognition for its ability to leverage funds to support conservation in Wyoming,” Thomas said. 

Since it’s founding in 2003, more than $13 million has been raised for conservation projects through the coalition.